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Development Director

Walker Basin Conservancy

This is a Contract position in Reno, NV posted November 26, 2022.

The Organization: The Walker Basin Conservancy (Conservancy) leads the effort to restore and maintain Walker Lake while protecting agricultural, environmental and recreational interests in the Walker Basin ( The Conservancy acquires water rights and ranches to increase freshwater flows to Walker Lake. We re-establish native plant communities on former agricultural fields, increase public access and recreation opportunities, and develop practical solutions to save Walker Lake.


From creating Nevada’s newest State Park (the Walker River State Recreation Area) to adding thousands of acres to Wildlife Management Areas, our work impacts thousands of community members, ranchers and recreationists every year. The Conservancy operates a nursery that produced more than 25,000 native plants in 2021 and produces native seed for conservation purposes on its properties. Our team comprises approximately 30 full-time employees and between 15 and 40 AmeriCorps Members given the season. We invite you to join us in our ambitious mission to restore Walker Lake.


The Conservancy has an inclusive, positive culture that values work-life balance and growth opportunities. Our generous benefits package further separates us from other non-profits and local employers.


The Opportunity: The Conservancy leads the most ambitious freshwater acquisition program for environmental benefit in North America. This position is a chance to help chart the future of this dynamic organization. Working with an create an Executive Director with extensive fundraising experience and success, the Development Director will continue to develop a sustainable fundraising program from the ground up.


Essential Functions


The Development Director leads fundraising efforts for the Conservancy in close partnership with the Executive Director. This includes individual and major giving, private foundation grant writing, and corporate partnerships. Additionally, the Development Director supports the development of federal and state funding partnerships to support the long-term recovery of Walker Lake and health of the Walker Basin. The Development Director serves as a member of the Conservancy’s leadership team and is responsible for embodying the Conservancy’s Core Values.


Private Fundraising


·        Research, develop, and successfully fund private grant proposals to support operations (approximately $4M/year) and water right acquisitions ($10M+). Work closely with Executive Director to identify and solicit foundation gifts.

·        Oversee implementation of annual giving and donor acquisition programs, focused on long-term giving potential.

·        Personally solicit individual donations from individuals capable of major gifts ($10k+).

·        Develop corporate giving program.


Public Partnerships


·        Pursue public funding for acquisition of water rights. Identify grant funding opportunities and create successful proposals from $1M to >$50M. Work closely with the Executive Director and Water Program Director to identify public funding opportunities for the water rights acquisitions.

·        Lead and coordinate submission of public grant, contract, and cooperative agreement opportunities.


Budgeting and Finance


·        Work closely with Finance Director, program directors, and Executive Director to create annual budgets and budgets for funding proposals.

·        With Finance Director and Finance Assistant, ensure accuracy of fundraising records and timely donor communication.


Marketing and PR


·        Proactively represent the Conservancy in front of diverse audiences.

·        Increase name recognition of the Conservancy through personal appearances, community outreach, and paid and earned media in partnership with Community Outreach Manager.

·        Serve as a primary reviewer of public-facing communication from the Conservancy.


Experience and Qualifications


·        Any successful candidate must care deeply the Conservancy’s mission.

·        The ideal candidate will be results-oriented and welcome accountability. They must be willing to take on clear fundraising targets (including $1M in operating income within two years and one principal gift for water rights acquisition) and accept accountability through project management and CRM software.

·        The Development Director must be able to learn the Conservancy’s complex business and communicate our value proposition to a diverse audience.

·        The ideal candidate will have:

o  Demonstrated success in grant writing.

o  Experience and success in individual fundraising and face-to-face solicitation.

o  Experience in non-profit management or leadership.


Physical and Mental/Intellectual Requirements


Strength, dexterity, and coordination to use keyboard and video display terminal for prolonged periods. Strength and stamina to bend, stoop, sit, and stand for long periods of time. Dexterity and coordination to handle files and single pieces of paper; occasional lifting of files, stacks of paper or reports, references, and other materials. Some reaching for items above and below desk level. Some bending, squatting, and stooping to access files and records is necessary. The manual dexterity and cognitive ability to operate a personal computer using word processing and databases. The ability to interact professionally, communicate effectively, and exchange information accurately with all internal and external customers. Ability to appropriately handle stress and interact with others, including supervisors, coworkers, clients, and customers. Regular and consistent punctuality and attendance. Light lifting (up to 25 pounds) is occasionally required.


In compliance with applicable disability laws, reasonable accommodations may be provided for qualified individuals with a disability who require and request such accommodations. Applicants and incumbents are encouraged to discuss potential accommodations with the employer.


Working Conditions


Position functions indoors in an office type environment where most work is performed at a desk. Position may occasionally be required to travel by car to pick up or deliver material. Environment is generally clean with limited exposure to conditions such as dust, fumes, noise, or odors. Frequent interruptions to planned work activities occur.


Salary & Benefits:


A salary range $70,000 to $100,000 annually, based on the level of experience. Additional performance-based compensation available. 


The Conservancy has a generous compensation package for this position commensurate with experience. Additionally, the Conservancy provides an excellent  employee benefits package which includes:

·        Employer paid health, dental and vision plans for employee (worth over $5,200 annually);

·        Retirement 403(b) plan including a Conservancy contribution equal to 6% of your salary ($1,996 to

$2,745 annually);

·        Life insurance plan for employee (pays up to 1x employee’s yearly salary to beneficiary)

·        120 hours of annual paid vacation, increasing to 160 hours after first year, 16 hours of annual personal

leave, and 60 hours of annual sick leave;

·        Paid holiday week between Christmas and New Year’s in addition to 12 paid holidays during the year.

·        Health and wellness subsidy of up to $300 annually.

·        Access to outdoor industry pro-deals.

·        Employer paid professional development.

Position will remain open until filled. Only top candidates will be contacted.


Please send cover letter and resume to:

Amy Gladding

Subject Line: Development Director


Please call (775) 463-9887 ext. 116 with questions.

Walker Basin Conservancy is an equal opportunity employer.


Equal Opportunity Statement – Walker Basin Conservancy is an equal opportunity employer. WBC does not discriminate against any employee, applicant, director, officer, contractor, or any other person with whom it deals because of race, creed, color, disability, age, sex, veteran status, religion or political affiliation. WBC complies with all federal and local statutes prohibiting discrimination in employment.


Reasonable accommodations may be provided for qualified individuals with a disability.


Disclaimer – The statements contained herein are intended to describe the general nature and level of work to be performed by the employees in these positions. The statements are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of a person in each position. Other responsibilities, duties, and skills may be assigned and management retains the right to add or change the responsibilities, duties, and skills at any time. 

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